The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets‘ rushing attack was slowed, and costly penalties and turnovers proved to be the difference-maker as the Jackets fell to the Virginia Tech Hokies 17-10. This is Virginia Tech’s fourth straight victory over Georgia Tech since 2010.
Virginia Tech limited Georgia Tech’s fourth-ranked rushing offense to just 129 yards (the Jackets have an average of 345.3 rushing yards per game) while capitalizing off of three turnovers. The Jackets committed a grand total of nine penalties for 66 yards and did not look well at all. It was almost as though they were the road team, and the Hokies looked like a different team, at least defensively, than the one that almost lost to Marshall last Saturday.
Yellow Jackets quarterback Vad Lee finished a very subpar passing attack by only completing 7-of-24 passes for 144 yards and two interceptions. Lee also had a subpar day on the ground with only 35 rushing yards on 19 attempts, good enough to average 1.9 yards per carry. Hokies quarterback Logan Thomas has arguably his best performance of the season, completing 19 of his 25 passes for 221 yards and a touchdown.
The battle of the ACC Tech schools came down to the play of the defense, as the Hokies’ defense stuffed the option and played the classic offense about as well as anybody can in college football. With the victory, the Hokies picked up their first conference win and handed the Yellow Jackets their first loss. The Jackets fell to 3-1 overall and 2-1 in the ACC, while the Hokies improved to 4-1 overall and 1-0 in ACC play.
The Hokies’ offensive struggles continued as they only gained 55 yards on the ground against the Jackets’ 12th-ranked defense, with Thomas being the team’s leading rusher with 58 yards. With a wide-open Coastal Division, the Hokies will need more consistent offensive production if they want to move ahead. As of right now, the Miami Hurricanes and Georgia Tech are the favorites to emerge from the division that has seen its status fading with the rising success of Clemson and Florida State in the Atlantic Division.
The Hokies will now face off against the North Carolina Tar Heels next Saturday, while the Yellow Jackets will face off against the No. 15 Miami (FL), a game that could be the ultimate decision-maker in who emerges out of the Coastal Division.